FORMER Worcester Valkyries star and England’s most capped player Rochelle Clark has retired from international rugby, 15 years after earning her first cap.
The 37-year-old made 137 international appearances, surpassing Jason Leonard’s previous record of 114 in November 2016, before going on to feature in her fourth Women’s Rugby World Cup last summer.
She retires as the world’s most capped women’s international, ahead of fellow Red Rose Tamara Taylor and former Scotland international Donna Kennedy, who both have 115 caps.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I have decided it is time to retire from international rugby,” said Clark.
“To receive my first cap was a dream come true and it was with the same pride and hunger that I walked out a further 136 times for England. It was always an honour and a privilege to take to the pitch wearing the rose.
“I look back on my 15-year England career and think of the friends I have made and the opportunities we were given.
I have shared some incredible experiences with so many great people.”
The Wasps loose-head prop made her England debut in 2003 and was awarded an MBE for Services to Rugby in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List, having been part of the Red Roses’ 2014 winning World Cup squad.
Clark, who starred for the Valkyries between 2013 and 2017, will carry on playing club rugby at Wasps next season in the Tyrrells Premier 15s.
In her 137 tests, Clark scored 23 tries for the Red Roses.
“The highlight has to be winning the 2014 World Cup, made all the more special having come close twice before,” she added.
“To those who kept me going when times were tough and who made the experience so special, I want to say a huge thank you; all my friends and family, team mates, coaches and support staff.”